March 25th, 2004


(no subject)

So in the midst of the weirdness today, Manish came in to our meeting.

A week or so ago, there was a big powwow amongst some of the management where they worked out scheduling for the project. It was determined that there would be some significant reduction in features, and that we would deliver the first pass of *tested* code in mid-october.
For a project of this scope, that is an agressive schedule. Unreasonably agressive, but manageable. It means a lot of long days.

Well, apparently the management meeting deciding these things did not include the upper management level. The manager of marketing has said that this is unacceptable; all of the features originally "specified" need to be in the release, and they need us to deliver it two months earlier. And the CEO is agreeing with him.

So apparently there will be another meeting tomorrow where the irresistible force meets the immovable object.

There were some jokes made about letting me go to the meeting to represent the engineering team. I suggested that it was probably not a good idea, as I probably wouldn't be as diplomatic as would be appropriate.

This seems to stem from the original team that okayed the project to begin with. The schedules were set two years ago. The project was not ready by any means, but they signed off on it, including the manager of engineering who signed off on an SRD that was written by marketing, and is obvious to anyone reading it that it was not complete.
My guess is that there was pressure to have this project okayed, and rather than standing up to responsibility and not okaying it, everyone just rubber-stamped it. It was either fear, incompetence, or both.

Manish asked today realistically how much of the SRD was defined enough to be accurate. I told him about 10-15%. A couple of the other engineers were shocked at this, and I went off on a rant. They still don't understand the level of detail that is needed for software requirements; they wanted to appease the marketing concept of requirements.

It is the equivalent of hiring someone to build you a house, and having them hand you a picture of a house and say "build this". You ask where the blueprints are, and they say "this is the blueprint".
No, this is a picture of a house. A blueprint is a detailed plan that calls out materials, measurements, and details of assembly.

I have gone beyond frustration. It's into